A timely article from CBC News relates directly to our recent post on how estate property is distributed in the absence of a will. Specifically, we discussed the Estates Act and the Succession Law Reform Act, and how those legislative acts determine the distribution of estate assets in Ontario when someone dies without a last will and testament.
Although there are established procedures and priorities for estate administration without a will, often these legislative directives are not in line with the wishes of the deceased, and families are forced to endure otherwise preventable confusion and heartache — all because the proper planning wasn’t done. In recognition of thissue, British Columbia’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General Suzanne Anton recently declared April 10 through April 16 the province’s “Make a Will Week,” which is the subject of a recent CBC article.
According to one survey, 45 per cent of adults in British Columbia have not created a will, and just about the same can be said of Canadians in general.
In 2015, a poll by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce found that 47 per cent of Canadians have not discussed their estate plans with their heirs, although 50 percent expect to leave behind property upon death.
Reluctance to discuss these matters is understandable, but the reality is that not planning now could lead to costly family disputes. You can take control of your estate and how your assets will be distributed by first creating a will and then considering other estate planning tools such as powers of attorney and trusts.
For more on these matters, please see Hagel Lawfirm‘s overview of estate planning in Ontario. From our offices in Mississauga, we help people throughout the GTA make their message heard.